I finished the practice blouse. I learned a lot about basting. I learned a lot about pattern drawing (which I already knew, but it took some time to get it back out of the dark corners of my mind). I love the design of the fabric. I made a mistake by not cutting the biais-strip on the bias, so that was interesting, and then I also attached it the wrong way around. It's not that noticeable unless I tell people, but it was an educational mistake to make. Making this blouse was mainly a test to see if I could do a proper blouse that looks professional, before starting on a chambray blouse that I plan to embroider. I've wanted (to both do and have) that for years, so now is the time to find out how and get to it I think. And this one, especially how I made and attached the collar, is really nice and seems made for me. Probably because it is. During the photographing I imitated the cat because we were communicating, and so here's a picture of me looking like a startled constipated horse. Yay?
July 29th, 2015
So, apart from some small jewellery-related transgressions that shall not be mentioned, I have been really good with the not-buying stuff. I nearly bought some sandals (for I quite needed sandals), but they were terrible and didn't fit both in 37 and 38 so I sent them back. And then it turned out I really did need sandals. Because, as discussed previously, I chucked (ok, lovingly donated) all of the shoes that I wasn't 100% comfortable in, as well as some really really pretty heels I desperately miss if not for the fact that they fucked up my feet and hips so badly I always needed two days to recover after wearing them for a bit, and a full week of recovery if I managed a night in them. After the chucking, I was left with 5 pairs. As far as I can tell now, this not only leaves room for a shelf of fabrics and sewing projects, but it is also all the shoes I can ever need. There is a pair of winter boots with some ice pick thing underneath (everyone in Dutch-or-colder climate should own a pair), the red-purple-brown vegan Doc Martens (they look a lot better than the stable boot) that can go in almost any weather, the brogues that are the closest I can now get to fancy without heels (and that regrettably can look bad with skirts), the second-hand customised allstars I wear 80% all of the time when it's not too hot or wet and hopefully will last until the end of the year when they will be replaced by exactly the same, and sandals. All of the shoes, except for the dress shoes, can go with all of my clothes without looking weird (provided that you are the slightly cliché girl in a body con dress with Docs underneath because you used to have a lot of friends who were 'alternative' in high school). Picking shoes, is therefore, no longer a process that takes any time or effort because 50% of the shoes are weather-specific, and otherwise the question is "what instead of the allstars". I had basically been doing this for years, but with heeled distractions and shoes not worn in years cluttering the view.
All of the colours are neutral enough to go with evertyhing, but exciting and different enough to give me the feeling that I have a range of options. But then my sandals, all black platform Tevas with the toe-thingy, were torture. Not just because they created purple blisters and bruising between my toes, but also because they put pressure on my instep because the toe-bit is non-adjustable so there was a lot of strain on the part of my foot just below it. That blistering would probably go away after more use, but that other bit was terrible. I nearly cried after I got home from walking to the city. My mum had the ones without the toe-thingy, and she thinks they're the most comfortable thing éver. And they did feel much better. So I went for it. Because if you have 5 pairs of shoes, I'm sorry for buying them, but then your only pair of hot-weather-shoes should not cause tears. Was I weak by buying stuff? Yes! Am in super duper tremendously overwhelmingly happy I did? YES! I didn't want the same ones as my mum's (because this has already created some confusion with the winter ones) so I checked out the non-platform ones and these red ones. I really wanted white ones, but also know that they will look crap when they're not pristine, and I know I'm not the kind of person who can keep things spot-free. I tried the black flat ones underneath a skirt, and I immediately looked like a rogue nun. A friend who has them (and who says the give her stinky feet though I have not noticed this) does not look religious when she wears them, so this might just be me. But again, if they're your only sandals, they probably should't make you look 'sensible' with 50% of your outfits. Luckily, the red platform ones are perfect. I didn't think they were noticeably less comfortable than the flat ones, they are lovely and squishy, and contrary to the toe-ones, its much more difficult to fall off of these ones because they can be adjusted in two different places and therefor fit like a glove. I also feel bright red is a neutral, so they can go with all the clothes in all of the colors. Not unimportantly: they can go with socks (but if they should is another matter) and they have a design that has recently become my favourite. Are these too many words to spend on shoes? Probably. Does it mean I've started thinking about what I need in the rest of my wardrobe with a more minimalist mindset? Definitely. Maybe coats are next. There's a really pretty one I never wear because it is both cold and big an unwieldy, ánd cold. Hmmm...
A disclaimer: I have no idea if Teva produces their sandals responsibly. I know there are vegan as far as the fabrics are concerned, there's no leather in these ones. The made-in-China bit does not bode well with regards to the happiness of the people who made them. Tevas are, however, the sandals that have so far lasted me longest. I had these flip-flops that I wore all the time, and I did away with them half a year back because, while I could still walk in them, after ten years of near permanent use in summer, the backs had worn down so much that they were angled and a little bit in stable to walk on. I could have easily gotten another year or two out of them, but they weren't really comfortable anymore. But I bought them when I was 13 or 14, I guess? From some discount bin at the outdoor sporting store with my dad, because they were cheap and sturdy, so they must have lasted at least 10 years. My dad walked a little less on his so he still wears them regularly. So I'm hoping the while these may not be not sustainable in production, they will be in use and the time they last.
July 28th, 2015
This title was mainly chosen so I can make you all listen to the following song: I Get Along". Now, I also think everyone should, as I have, listen to Elysium on repeat, and experience glee whilst watching Home and Dry. Because Pet Shop Boys are great! Absolutely GREAT! As I've stated many many times before on this blog. It took me three years to warm up to them as I sometimes came past a greatest hit album with the ipod on shuffle. But at some point I got hooked and then someone bought me the Very/Actually CD (thank you!) and then I was lost. I have annoyed people by not shutting up about them, just as I have with True Detective (I am really bad at keeping tastes to myself, especially when I feel that they've influenced me positively as a person, which is very true for PSB).
PS. I recently found out that my mind works on association, and it turns situations into words or concepts, and then it finds lyrics and music to the words, and then I make sense of life (I once spent a year lovesick listening to Rip it Up and Only When You Leave on repeat because of such an association).
July 27th, 2015
I had been looking for some blue-red striped tricot for ages to replace one of my favourite shirts that I had to say goodbye to because it was synthetic and smelled. And it made me stink. And then I saw this discount-left-over black-red-orange striped fabric at the local fabric market, and I bought a couple meters of it, and now I wear this shirt all of the time. It is the shape I like, with a batwing-sleeve (I don't know if that is a thing, but it is a literal translation of the Dutch term for that), and it is something that suggests boobs, but does not present them quite in the overpowering way that they actually are. Which is the handy for daily use. It is draped, but I changed the pattern, so now it is exactly what I like in my clothes. It is loose, but not so loose as to make it seem that I am wearing a bag, and not so long as to make it look as though I am wearing a dress (which is usual when you are my height, for example with this thing that was actually and xl-t-shirt but that is a dress for me). I still don't know if I think this shirt looks good in a run-of-the-mill-flattering-making-me-look-thinner-and-boring-fashion-type way, but it does make me look how I feel inside, and it is precisely the color and graphic-design that I love and adore. It is also what my mum wears in pictures after she's just had me, so in the early nineties. I don't understand why we bring back the lovely and unflattering 90's cuts and crop tops, but not the graphic and hectic patterns that came with it. Boo, normcore, for not repeating the 80's and 90's with the colours they so desperately need.
July 26th, 2015
The pictures I took of the food are terrible. But it was really good. My mum hates almost all non-Indian Asian food, for a reason I cannot comprehend. Something about a smell that she finds so vague that it is nauseating. I think I love that smell. Which means that my dad and I, who do not get to eat very spicy things often (as she also hates spicy), go out for Vietnamese/Thai food around the corner. And it is so nice, especially because it is different from the usually more Chinese-inspired restaurant in the Netherland,s which are also nice but I love and adore home-made Thai curry paste and they do a great one there. When I've been there, I always want to go back the next day because I already miss it. My dad had some dead crab, that was lovely but apparently crab is better when not overpowered by chili. I had some spicy silken tofu that I already bored you with ages ago and that I have not managed to recreate, which annoys me to no end. I want that tofu (at home), and I want it now. I wore this outfit before dressing up to go out to dinner, and the combo of the tiger top with the red thingy is really nice because it turns out that there's red in the tiger top.
July 25th, 2015
I removed the ironing board for photographic purposes. But the story here is exactly the same as yesterday's. These pants used to be a light blue, but they lost most of their color, so painting them black was the best idea. I think I;ve given them a second life, or at least I hope so, because I haven't gotten around to making the skorts-pattern yet.
July 24th, 2015
I've started with the sewing projects I want to do this summer. I mainly want to do a structurally sound blouse, and in general, I want to make some clothes that are just as good (and better looking/custom size) as those that are bought. This means ironing to press seams, which I am bad at. But slowly but steadily things are coming along, and every smaal projects has learning moments, so that is nice. It just means my room is a mess with piles of fabric, patterns everywhere, an ironing board and cats hopping in-between and through all of this with destructive glee. Apparently the more delicate the tissue paper, the more fun it is to roll on top of it or bite through it. I have found wads of balled up pattern paper downstairs in the cardboard box they use as home base, and them growling in defence when another cat gets close or I try to clean it up (because I think it might be harmful for them to eat it, and while they spit out most of it, I think they do actually eat some of the bits of the paper).
July 23rd, 2015
Turns out that the boxer shorts are really easy to replicate with the serger, and making the legs longer is easy as fuck. So My crotch is properly covered in these shorts, and they fit roughly the same. I took out the fly, because I have absolutely no use for it and did not feel the need to complicate the project when it would be much easier and take way less time to simply take that bit out. I am going to make more, maybe two or three more, depending on what fabric I find. These were made from a small budget-coupon that was left over. I like it when fabric that otherwise doesn't get sold is precisely the right length for little projects such as sleeping shorts. I now have them with blue flowers, and with three-eyed aliens. Because aliens.
July 22nd, 2015
I need to make some new ones because they have collectively decided to become holey. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because the legs needed tp be longer anyway. I've already gotten some fabric to try and make their replacements.
July 21st, 2015
10 euros and my shoes are good as new. I did not know the cobbler could do that, because I ha already walked into the woody bits on the heels, but they're really lovely again and look as though I just bought them. With some scuffs. Am considering getting some anti-slip thingies on the front, and buying some chemical shoe paint to get rid of the scuffed noses (because the polish does not quite cut it after years of use). Anyway, I could not be happier and finally understand what all of the environmentalists mean when they say that the cobbler is the magical answer to all shoe-related issues. It's weird that I never realised this before, as it is her/his job description.
July 20th, 2015